NEWFIELD — Our Lady of Mercy Academy’s Class of 2013 graduated on Tuesday, looking forward to future challenges without forgetting the past.
That past was a sisterhood that student speakers said would remain unbroken.
Those friends have laughed, grieved and agued together, Valedictorian Samantha Robins said.
“Through it all, I can truly say I love each of you in a very special way with my whole heart,” said Robins, of Hopewell Township, Cumberland County. “We were all fundamental in each other’s growth. We are all so excited to move on, to venture into the great universe. We will follow our futures down separate paths, but we will always share our bond of sisterhood.”
Tuesday’s event in Carew Hall marked OLMA’s 49th graduation ceremonies.
Thrity-three students were graduated from the all-girl school on Main Road and Catawba Avenue in this Gloucester County municipality on Tuesday. School officials said 22 of the graduates had grade point averages of at least 3.0.
Robins said the education provided by OLMA gives graduates a good chance to succeed in life and that her classmates should take advantage of every opportunity, even those that appear risky.
“It is better to fail and learn than to go through life with what-ifs,” she said. “I believe we can reach our dreams. If we apply ourselves, we can reach anything. If it’s not illegal or life-threatening, do it.”
This year’s graduating class had two salutatorians — Danielle Dougherty and Anne Brewer.
Dougherty, of West Deptford Township, Gloucester County, said the graduates have “learned to make good choices.”
“We all have the knowledge that we need to take on the world,” she said. “We just have to get out in the world and show them who we are. We can’t be stopped at anything. We have learned to push ourselves.”
Brewer, of Gloucester Township in Camden County, said OLMA graduates will have many memories of their time at the school.
“Our life is built around them,” she said. “However, this evening will create an entirely new kind of memory.”
Brewer told her fellow graduates that she will miss spending time with them.
“Being able to share the last four years is something that will stay with me from this point on,” Brewer said. “No matter where life takes you or what path you choose to take, I and our sisters will always have your back.”
“We will always call OLMA our home,” Dougherty said.
OUR LADY OF MERCY ACADEMY CLASS OF 2013
***Anne Brewer - Salutatorian
West Chester University
Egg Harbor Township
Saint Joseph University
Penn State University
Atlantic Community County College
West Virginia University
Atlantic County Community College
**Samantha Robins - Valedictorian
George Washington University
University of Massachusetts
Camden County College
Egg Harbor Township
***Graduating with Principal’s Honors (All A’s -4 years)
** Graduating with Distinction
*Graduating with Honors
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